Living the Map: 50 Jobs in 50 States

Isaak Kifle

Given current economic conditions, obtaining a job, like those truck driving jobs in Chicago, has become a very big accomplishment. Even Daniel Saddiqui would agree, despite the fact that he managed in find a job in every state of the country within the course of a year.

Saddiqui is a University of California graduate who couldn’t find a job in his field—economics. To try to get a better understanding of why he   couldn’t find one, as well as to discover where the jobs were, Saddiqui decided to go on a journey to find the answer.

He went to all 50 states and worked a job in each state for one week that reflected the culture and industry of that state. To give just a few examples, Saddiqui worked as a lobster fisherman in Maine, a dietician in Mississippi, a swim instructor in Hawaii and an insurance capitalist right here in Connecticut. Other jobs he held included building furniture and working in a wine cellar, as well as a farm.

Daniel Saddiqui wrote a book about his experience, titled 50 Jobs in 50 States: One Man’s Journey of Discovery Across America and, on Tuesday, Sept. 18, was interviewed by NBC Connecticut. In the interview, he spoke about how one has to “be persistent and don’t fear rejection,” because holding all those jobs, even if only for a week, first involved many rejections and failed interviews.

“I failed 40 job interviews straight out of college [and] I sent out 18,000 emails just looking for a volunteer position,” adds Saddiqui on his experiences preceding his journey around the country.

That same day, following the interview, Saddiqui came to the University of New Haven to speak to students on his experiences and lessons. He began with six presentations in classrooms and, at 2:30 p.m., gave a presentation to the entire campus community in Dodds Theater.

The event was hosted by the Career Development Center. Saddiqui concluded with some advice he was given when he began his journey: “If the why is strong enough, the how becomes easy.”